IMF hails Vietnam’s COVID-19 prevention efforts

Vietnam has shown that there is indeed an effective way to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, even in the absence of a vaccine that can allow an economy to recover, according to Helge Berger, Assistant Director of the Asia & Pacific Department at the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
COVID-19 patients in Da Nang are given the all-clear. (Photo: VNA)
COVID-19 patients in Da Nang are given the all-clear. (Photo: VNA)

In a post in The Print, an Indian online newspaper, he described local restrictions and rapid testing and tracing as some of the key measures adopted in Vietnam in response to the outbreak.

He stressed that Vietnam’s experience in prevention can be replicated in low-income countries facing pressure in acquiring sufficient doses of vaccine.

Vaccines are, however, what will be needed to ensure all economies return to normal, he added.

Meanwhile, Radio France Internationale (RFI), a French public radio service, said that Vietnam is one of only a few Asian countries to effectively control the pandemic.

The country has considerable experience in disease prevention, RFI quoted Dr Truong Huu Khanh, head of the infectious and neurological diseases department at the Children’s Hospital No 1 in Ho Chi Minh City, as saying.

Vietnam closed its border to China right after COVID-19 was detected in its northern neighbour. One of the most important factors, according to Khanh, is that the country has maintained strict management over arrivals from overseas.

Tracing the close contacts of COVID-19 patients contributed greatly to its success, with very few cases of community transmission being recorded. Most infections in the country are imported.

As the pandemic was brought under control quickly and social distancing measures were only in place for three months, Vietnam’s economy escaped recession in 2020 and was one of the few to post growth, at 2.9 percent, RFI said.